Education Technology

Laser Scanning and BIM

  1. There are a number of misconceptions about the integration of laser scanning and BIM.
  2. Revit, one of the leading BIM software products does not offer support for point clouds.
  3. The GSA was very active in promoting the integration of BIM and laser scanning but has not been advertising projects.

On a day where there is not a lot of industry news I thought it might be worth revisiting the topic of laser scanning and BIM. For those not familiar, BIM refers to Building Information Modeling, at least that’s the way it started out. (I may have noted this before, but it really bothers me when I hear someone say “BIM Models”. This to me is like a “GIS system”.)

Unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation and misconceptions when it comes to BIM and laser scanning. We all might wish there was a magic tool for converting laser scanned data into a BIM, or do we?

One of the leading BIM  software products is Revit from Autodesk. This software does not offer support for point clouds, although Autodesk has recently released 2 point cloud engines for other products – what does that tell you about customer demand from the BIM side?

A BIM certainly would benefit from accurate 3D geometry, but that can often create its own set of problems since CAD engines are designed to work with ideal, planar and orthogonal surfaces. That is not what is found in the real world.

A few years ago the GSA seemed to be taking the lead in the integration of laser scanning and BIM, but from what I can find out the projects are not being requested.

I wish I had more positive news, but there is very little progress being made on the real integration of laser scanning and BIM. Today it is still a manual CAD modeling effort.

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